February is drawing to a close and I always rejoice when my grocery budgets starts afresh for the month. I did mediocre at trying to drop our budget down to $20 per person, per week. I suggest taking cash out all at one time so you can stock up on good prices if you see something on sale. Of course, you must exercise self restraint (unlike me) so that your money lasts all month. Take a calculator to the store with you so can how much you're spending as you shop and not have a surprise when you get to the register.
We ate plenty of healthy, well balanced meals this month, but I have to stay we didn't eat as much fresh fruit since I ran out of money about two weeks ago! I went $5 over to get milk and lunch meat for David however. Luckily, summer produce is almost here and I will be able to get lots of produce at good prices until the fall.
Frugal Win & Fail
The Kroger near us marks down produce, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday according to the produce worker I asked. It's generally bagged things, like bagged lettuce, herbs, spinach, and bags of apples and oranges. I had luck buying marked down apples last month that tasted great. I found organic apples marked down to 50 cents a pound so I bought twelve pounds!
That was my first mistake. I've had trouble with organic apple being mealy, even ones from Earth Fare that aren't on sale. These apples were pretty mealy so we had a hard time eating them all. What do you do when life gives you mealy apples? Cook them of course! We had lots of crock pot applesauce, apple pancakes and baked apples this month. I'm planning on making apple muffins this weekend.
If you ever bite into a mealy apple and decide not to eat it, you can cut of the part you bit, and freeze it until you want to cook or bake with it. I haven't tried this for applesauce apples, but it seems to work well for apples I will be adding to a baked good.
My produce win was three, 10 oz packages of organic broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. These freeze fine in the package if you eat them quickly, otherwise put them in a freezer bag.
Ok, so I cheated a bit
Publix is having a pretty good sale this week and while it doesn't end until March 1, I didn't want to want until the last day and risk all the deals being gone. If there's ever a great sale and we're out of grocery money I don't go, but since it's near the end of the month I convinced myself it was okay.
I've been buying one paper every Sunday and getting extra coupon inserts from the neighbors recycling bin (weird, I know) so I was able to buy several of each item. I had a $5/30 Publix coupon that was in the paper last week. Publix is also running an Italian Days promotion and when you buy 20 selected items you get $5 off you purchase. That's like taking an additional 25 cents off each item.
Publix tends to be more expensive than Kroger I've found, so I only buy sale items with coupons and some produce. Check out Southern Savers for this weeks Publix ad and coupon match ups, and video tutorials teaching you how to coupon.
I spent $26 out of pocket for $98 worth of product. That was a first for me. Here's what I got. I will admit not everything I bought was super healthy but there wasn't anything that was totally junk either.
2 boxes L'oreal Hair Color - $3 each after sale and coupons. I was probably the most excited about this because I usually just go to CVS and buy it for $10 whenever I need to color my hair. (I just realized now anyone who reads this will know I color my hair....)
12 cans Hunts diced tomatoes- 35 cents each after sale and coupons. I make lots of pasta sauce so we go through lots of canned tomatoes.
2, 28 oz cans Muir Glen organic tomatoes- 41 cents each.
1 can Publix organic tomatoes- FREE! Buy theirs (Muir Glen) get ours free promotion.
2 cans Hunts pasta sauce - 9 cents each, I've never tried this stuff, but I'm thinking it will work great for homemade pizza.
4 boxes Natural Valley Granola Bars. $1 each.
4 Boxes Crunchy Nut Cereal - $1 each. Not 100% whole grain and definitely doesn't meet my standards for breakfast cereal. I normally don't buy things that don't meet my food standards but I was trying to get to $30 so I could use my $5/30 coupon. It's not full of chemicals and sugar but it's not all whole grain either and doesn't have much fiber or protein.
2, 8 oz blocks Cabot Natural cheese. $2 each, I love good cheese! My buy price for cheese is $2 for 8 oz or less.
2 cans of wheat biscuits. 45 cents each. Not a health food for sure, I can't tell you the last time I bought canned biscuits.
2 cantaloupes and 1 pound of oranges.
These prices are my best guess from looking at my receipt and trying to remember which coupon I had for each item, I may be a bit off.